PhilHealth: We cover primary care services
This refers to “A safety net for health” (7/20/18) by Rina Jimenez David, wherein AC Health CEO Paolo Borromeo was quoted as saying that “PhilHealth does not cover primary costs.”
We would like to inform readers that, since 2010, PhilHealth has been providing its indigent and sponsored program beneficiaries with our primary care benefit package or PCB. Since 2012, it has extended the said package to its migrant worker members and their qualified dependents; and, from 2013, to the formal sector, but only the teaching personnel of the Department of Education under a pilot program.
Around 35 million beneficiaries from these membership sectors have been accessing primary care services from their assigned rural health units and health centers, contrary to what Borromeo claimed.
To date, there are 2,455 outpatient clinics in 1,541 cities and municipalities nationwide that have been accredited by PhilHealth to provide the PCB.
The PhilHealth Board has recently approved the expansion of the PCB package to be extended to the rest of our members in the formal economy, as well as to all senior citizens and lifetime members that currently comprise 47 percent of PhilHealth’s current population coverage of 97 million Filipinos, or 93 percent of the total 104.5 million (2017 projected population). The said move will effectively entitle more than 75 million beneficiaries nationwide.
PhilHealth is currently finalizing its guidelines for the accreditation of additional qualified hospitals, and even nonhospital facilities such as ambulatory surgical clinics and infirmaries nationwide.
SHIRLEY B. DOMINGO, MD, vice president, Corporate Affairs Group, and official spokesperson, PhilHealth
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